Let us find our place
Exodus 2:15-25, from verse 1 to 25 speaks about how God prepares Moses and at the end, it speaks about how God hears the groanings of His people as they cried out in the land of Egypt. God remembers the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and He took notice of His people. Isaiah 43:19 tells us God does new things. This sermon is based on the new year’s day service sermon that Reverend Abraham Park has given in 1993. The year 1993 and 2021 are both Sabbath years by coincidence.
The year 2021 is a time when we need to really discover and find that place when we can be ready. Where is God leading us to? Let us find the right place to settle our hearts and faith. Furthermore, let us find a place where Jesus can dwell in our lives and our hearts. Let us find a place where His righteousness, His truth and faith can dwell. Ephesians 4:22-24.
1. In order for us to understand our place, we need to have a proper understanding of history and consciousness of the present reality
(i) History of creation and redemption
(ii) World history
(iii) Personal history
We need to ask ourselves regardless of our age, where will I be at the end of my life. We need to learn to understand how this History of Redemption has been led by God. Which part of that history is this world history located? Where am I in that history? What is coming next? Jesus gave us an idea of what will happen in the end times. Matthew 24:6-12
Satan can take advantage of this Covid 19 situation and slant media reports against Christianity and influence closing of churches. We need to be alert and awake so that Satan does not slowly kill us and our faith and our churches. Matthew 24:9-12. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58. Let us be steadfast and immovable in our faith, only growing and not compromising, always abounding in the work of the Lord. 1 John 2:15-17. In all sports, especially team sports like soccer, basketball and baseball, it is very important for each player to keep his position and do their work in that place. The same thing in the military, and any organization, as soldiers of God likewise, you and I need to keep our places.
2. Moses found his place by settling down in Midian
Exodus 2:15 says Moses “settled” and “sat down”. Moses’ life can be separated into 3 blocks of 40 years. 40 years in the palace of Pharaoh, 40 years in the wilderness of Midian and 40 years with Israelites in the wilderness journey.
The first place God placed Moses was in Pharaoh’s palace. In today’s passage was about how Moses at age of 40, feels the need to help and save his people so he killed an Egyptian who was beating the Israelite and buried his body. Later Moses helps to mediate between Israelites fighting, and his own people were saying we will report you to Pharaoh, Pharaoh found out and Moses had to run to Midian wilderness, a place he had probably never expected to go to, let alone live there for 40 years. Moses was the possible heir to the Egyptian throne as a prince of Egypt!
Where are we today? Moses was enjoying the highest place in his life but became a fugitive in Midian wilderness, no money, no friends, no family, nothing, God led Moses there because He had a bigger plan for Moses, to become the great leader of the Exodus. A foreshadowing and type of Jesus Christ the Lord of salvation and redemption. In order to prepare him, God had to take Moses out of the place he used to be (Egypt) and put him in the wilderness of Midian.
Moses settled down means he accepted that. This was a place where God led him before, God brings Moses into His great work of redemption which begins in Exodus 3. Exodus 2:24-25 states God heard the groaning and remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That means God is getting ready to do His work of redemption. Exodus 3 is when God calls Moses to start this redemption work. Moses was in the wilderness for 40 years, it was a place of preparation. Is God leading you to that place today? Out of your comfort zone into the Midian wilderness? God calls you as cell group leaders, department leaders, as a member, God is training you to be a shepherd and servant of the Word.
Apostle Paul had such a place in Damascus, a place of change. Elijah had the same place in Cherith. Prophet Samuel had that place in Shiloh. Jesus came down to this earth, Bethlehem, Nazarus was His place. Whether we are aware or not, God intervenes in our life because He plans our life. God intervenes in our lives and prepares us for His redemptive work, His greater work, His new work. In order to bring us into His amazing and glorious work, He prepares us a place. To bring us to that place of preparation, God has to take us out of the previous place first. That hurts. For Moses to be taken out of Egypt, that must not have been easy.
This year 2021 I believe is a time to really act upon that awakening in 2020. Just like Moses in the wilderness of Midian, he was rediscovering his relationship with God. It seems like he had failed miserably in Egypt, and he would retire in Midian wilderness having failed in his dreams and hopes. Yet that is the place God wanted Moses to be in, to prepare him.
Are you depressed, disappointed, have you hit rock bottom? Maybe that is the place God wants you to be, so from there you can soar up like an eagle. One good thing about hitting rock bottom is there is no way to go further down, the only way is to go up.
When Adam disobeyed God, God called out to him “Adam where are you?” God is asking us “Where are you?” today because there is a place God wanted Adam and wants you and me to be today.
For Moses, this is where he found the right direction by discarding all the past pride and human zeal. Just as Apostle Paul considered all his past as rubbish, the world thought it was gold but apostle Paul found the real true purpose. Where are we today? Are we still holding on to the privileges and luxuries of Egypt and cannot let go and cannot settle down in the new place God has given to us? Please believe that such a place like Midian wilderness is a truly glorious place where God’s grace overflows. Psalm 1:1.
Just like God asked Adam “Where are you?” Let us not just look for a high place where we are served but find a place where we can serve God. Exodus 4:22. God told Pharaoh to let the Israelites go and serve Him. They were serving Pharaoh. Are we now ready to serve God? Jesus came down to this earth, He went to the bottom of His disciples’ feet and washed them, furthermore He went to the cross and the grave. He knew this. He prayed to the Father “Father if it is Your will, I know that is My place.” Jesus came to serve.
3. The place where God prepared for Moses at Mount Sinai
It is the place God waited for Moses twice. At Mount Horeb and Mount Sinai, both the same place. Exodus 3:15. It was a place Moses met with God, spoke with God, received His Word, saw the new vision and experienced eternity. It was a time when the Israelites camped in the wilderness of Sinai about 1 year, a time of the nation’s birth and preparation to enter into Canaan.
It was a place where Moses met true heaven, a place of comfort, true Sabbath, true eternity. Moses went up Mount Sinai 8 times. 2285m high. Moses was 80 years old! He went up that mountain 8 times up and down. What caused and gave Moses that extra strength and motivation to do that? Where is that power coming from? It is love that does that. Moses when he went up to the top of Mount Sinai, at the presence of God, he believed that sense of eternity. It is not the length of time but the joy of heaven. That is the highest extent of your love, multiplied by 10 to the nth power. As soon as Moses reached the base, he wanted to go back up to meet God and spend time with God, and experience that eternal Jubilee and joy. Where do you want to spend your 2021? Down with the golden calf? Or up there with God?
True love does that to us. When we experience God’s presence, and the eternal realm, I believe the effect is much more than human love. Revelation 21:3-4, in the new Jerusalem, the former things have passed away, no more pain and sadness. 1 Corinthians 15:50.
May God lift us up to this higher place, just as He did to Moses at Mount Sinai.